(A note from Harry: Here’s a “letter to the editor” from Kevin Miller, CEO of Scotland-based RunRev. His company makes a HyperCard-like development platform; one of its investors is Mike Markkula, who funded the creation of the Apple II and later served as Apple’s CEO.)
In recent weeks, there has been much speculation about the impact and overall effect that Apple’s decision to change the rules regarding its iPhone SDK has had on the software developer community. Given the growing debate, I feel I need to outline our thoughts and observations on the matter.
While there is a financial cost there is also a principle at stake here for us, as well as for many of our customers. Polling amongst our Mac-orientated user base suggests that many developers are outraged by Apple’s decision and do not believe that they should be dictated to regarding their choice of development tools. We are grateful for the support of our customers, who rather than switch development tools plan to switch platforms and develop applications on alternate platforms such as Google’s Android.
Apple is the standard by which many of us measure innovation and ingenuity. RunRev has always enjoyed a good relationship with Apple based partly on the fact that Mike Markkula is one of our investors, and our historical ties to the HyperCard legacy. In a recent article, we learned Hollywood media giants Time Warner and NBC Universal have informed Apple that “retooling themselves to support the iPad would be ‘expensive and not worth it’ citing the popularity of Flash on the web.” They are not alone. We may be a small voice, but the weight of our customers’ opinion can only add to the crescendo of views that believes Apple is doing a huge injustice to its loyal developer user base. We believe that Apple must listen to all the voices, not just the big players.
We are strong believers in Apple. Our hope is that during the upcoming WWDC Steve Jobs will listen to the smaller voices of Apple’s loyal developer community, and return the company to its open approach–fostering a plethora of innovation and ingenuity we have come to expect from the Apple community.